Inside Indexing:
The Decision-Making Process

by Sherry Smith and Kari Kells


Table of contents
for Inside Indexing

for Inside Indexing


Order Process

Kari's index
for Fodor's book

Sherry's index
for Fodor's book

Used in the Text

About the authors

Site Map

Contact us

Copyright 2006
Smith and Kells
Northwest Indexing Press


If it feels like I'm herding cats,
it's probably not a great gathering point.

Sandy Farrell

In this chapter, we present our approaches to the problem of collecting scattered information in the text. We describe how we identify those scattered ideas and concepts and then gather them into clusters that have useful access points.

Sherry's approach to gathering, like her other decisions, was aimed at revealing Fodor's perspective. She created more specific entries that concentrated on the author's vocabulary and his primary arguments.

Kari's approach to gathering, like her other decisions, was driven by her definition of Fodor's primary audience. She concentrated on developing general entries with broad terms that she decided her readers would look up in the index.

In our chapter closing, we show several concepts gathered by each of us and reveal how the differences, consistent within each index, are related to our analysis of Fodor's text.



How do these indexers' perceptions of the audience influence the development of their indexes?

How do these indexers' understandings of the text influence their approaches to creating entries?

How do these indexers' ideas about Fodor's primary topic impact their index structure?

How do these indexers collect information and what influenced their decision-making?

Access Routes
How do these indexers develop pathways into the text?

How do these indexers use words and phrases to support the structure of the index?

How do these indexers consider and evaluate consistency when implementing the other indexing principles?

Final Chapter
What have we learned from reading about the two indexes and the decision-making behind the entries?

Download a copy of Martha Osgood's index for Inside Indexing.